The Chicago Cubs matched up against the Washington Nationals in what could have been a great pitcher's duel, but wasn't. Cubs starter Jon Lester was not in his best form, and the Nationals took full advantage.
Stephen Strasburg started on the mound for the Nats and worked a quick 1-2-3 inning. He got leadoff man Kyle Schwarber to ground out, as well as Kris Bryant. Anthony Rizzo flew out to left field for the third out.
Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon singled for the Nats, but they would not score in the first inning.
The Nats put one up in the second on a solo home run from Brian Dozier. The Cubs didn't respond with any runs of their own, and the inning ended with the score at 1-0.
Three more runs were added for the Nats in the third inning. Trea Turner and Eaton both singled, but Eaton was caught stealing second. Rendon walked, followed by a double from Howie Kendrick, scoring Turner. Juan Soto then doubled, scoring Rendon and Kendrick to bring the score to 4-0.
The Cubs got their first hit off of a single from Schwarber in the fourth, but Bryant grounded into a forceout and Rizzo grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Cubs finally got a run in the fifth inning after singles from Willson Contreras and Addison Russell. Contreras was out at second when Jason Heyward grounded into a forceout. Heyward came around to score on a passed ball and the Cubs were now trailing 4-1.
Rendon led off the bottom of the fifth with a double and scored on a single from Soto to bring the score to 5-1. Carl Edwards, Jr then replaced Lester to get the final two outs. Lester went 4.1 innings with 10 hits, five runs (all earned), one walk, and three strikeouts. Edwards was able to get a strikeout from Dozier and a lineout from Yan Gomes to end the inning.
David Bote added another run for the Cubs in the sixth with a solo homer, bringing the score to 5-2. Pinch hitter Daniel Descalso grounded out, followed by a strikeout from Schwarber and a groundout from Bryant.
Tyler Chatwood took over for Edwards in the sixth and walked Michael A. Taylor. Strasburg laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Taylor to second. Turner and Eaton then grounded out for the second and third outs.
New Cubs reliever Xavier Cedeño entered the game in the eighth inning and faced Gomes first, who grounded out. He gave up a single to Taylor, who then stole second. Adrián Sánchez pinch hit and struck out looking, but Turner was then intentionally walked and Eaton followed with an unintentional walk. Brad Brach was then called to the mound and got the third out with a strikeout from Rendon.
The ninth inning may have been the most exciting of the night. Sean Doolittle entered to close it out for the Nationals and faced Albert Almora, Jr pinch hitting in the leadoff spot. The game was delayed when Cubs manager Joe Maddon protested Doolittle's pitching motion, in which he tapped his foot down on the mound the same way Edwards was instructed not to. Doolittle was given a few warm up pitches to fix the motion. Once the fuss had passed, Almora lined out to second, Schwarber struck out, and Bryant popped up to end the game.